Review ~ November 9

November

Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day of her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Goodreads * Amazon

*****My 5 Star Review*****

I’m a big time reader. I am always reading. I’m not a big TV watcher and I spend my evenings in a book. I often read from about 8pm till about 2am. I get in other reading during the day, too, as part of my homeschooling my kids. I don’t go anywhere without my kindle. So, the truth of the matter is that I usually have my nose in at least a few books every day.

Now here’s the thing. I finished November 9 Thursday. It’s Monday afternoon and I still haven’t picked up a book. Talk about a book hangover! It’s like I’m stuck!

As usual, Colleen does dialogue so well. Even lacking a great plot, her dialogue would ROCK! Here’s the thing. This plot also rocked. It was really like two major plots all rolled into one, and the first plot was strong enough that if you wiped out the rest of the awesomeness, I still would have given it 5 stars.

I also loved all the bookish talk! It felt like a constant shout out to bookaholics like myself! It was pure awesomeness.

You can expect hilarity. You can expect tears. You can expect an unforgettable story that will stick with you looooong after the last page! HIGHLY recommended to all contemporary romance fans.

Happy Reading,

Alison

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Sweet Liar ~ Release Day & Review

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Sometimes lies are sweeter than the truth.

Beauty is alluring; it can disguise the ugliness beneath. But scarred beauty is even more potent to a girl who vowed never to let her heart be broken again. It was an easy vow for Candy to keep until she met Jonah, an arrogant boy with a face that would be too perfect if not for the scar that marred the skin beside his eye.

That imperfect boy earned her trust and won her heart, but the ties that bind people together are fragile, especially when lies are told. Trust is also fragile, and once broken, doesn’t heal like a heart. Trust has to be earned again, and Jonah desperately wants Candy’s trust back.

But Candy has more than Jonah to worry about. Her father is in trouble, and she intends to help him whether he likes it or not. People tell her he’s a bad man, and that may be true, but he’s not all bad. Deep down, she understands his brand of badness because she’s so much like him.

When Candy finally learns the truth, she’ll have to grow up fast, let go of old grievances, and realize that being vulnerable doesn’t make her weak. In fact, opening herself up may be the very thing that makes her whole again.

Goodreads * Amazon

My 4 Strong Stars Review

If you haven’t already read Like Candy, then please go HERE to check out the first book in the series. This review will contain spoilers if you haven’t already read the first book. 🙂 This is such a unique series. There aren’t many YA romantic thrillers out there.

So, I was only 20% in when I encountered my first shocker of the book. The first of several things to come that I didn’t foresee. This story is full of little twists and turns. I got all of the answers I was looking for from book one – What exactly is her father involved in? Is he guilty of a crime? If so, was there a good reason? What is Jonah’s involvement? And his father’s? Yep, but I’m not going to reveal any of those here.

I will say that Candy’s search for these answers will leave you madly flipping pages. There are some very intense, heart-pounding moments in this book. There are some comical moments and sweet moments mixed in, too. The nervous energy is always palpable, though, as you know there’s at least one man out to do Candy harm.

Ultimately, I quite enjoyed this series. I would absolutely read it if Debra decided to write more on it. By the end of the book you will have all the answers you were originally looking for, but you’ll still be left wanting more. Fans of contemporary YA, romance, and crime thrillers will find this a great blend of the three!
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.*

Happy Reading,

Alison

Like Candy Tour, Review & Giveaway

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Like Candy

Title: Like Candy

Series: Candy #1

Author: Debra Doxer

Publication Date: July 28, 2015

Genre: YA Mystery/Romance

* * * * *

Revenge is sweet, just like candy.

Candy Seaborne knows she’s badass. She takes after her father, an assassin and possibly a spy, although he won’t admit to either. She idolizes him. Her dream is to follow in his footsteps. But first, she has to finish high school.

Biding her time, waiting for real life to begin, Candy craves drama and isn’t above manufacturing some. If you’re a classmate who wronged her or a boyfriend who cheated, watch your back. She’s no pushover, and revenge may be her favorite pastime.

Jonah Bryson is the senior class heartthrob who breaks all the stereotypes. He’s a jock, but he isn’t the typical player. He’s moody and antisocial. No girl has gotten anywhere with him since his last girlfriend broke his heart.

Candy sees Jonah as a challenge and the perfect distraction. But she may be in over her head because unlike everyone else, Jonah isn’t buying her tough act. He sees the lost, lonely girl inside. He sees too much. When he looks at her that way, she wants to let her guard down and be vulnerable. But that’s the last thing she should do because her father’s world is spilling over into hers, and life is about to get real much sooner than Candy expected.

Goodreads * Amazon

My ****4.5**** Star Review

AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!! This book will have you pulling out your hair!!! Debra will bring you right off the edge of your seat and then POW! You have to wait until the next book… I’m talking cliffhanger of epic proportions! The kind that make you want to write Debra up, and pray that she’s already written book 2 and stashed it somewhere, and that you’ll be lucky enough to miraculously get your hands on it in the very near future. LIKE NOW!

The whole story is laced in mystery and you slowly get clues dropped as to what’s going on. The chemistry between Jonah and Candy is soooo intense that you at times will feel certain they are destined for each other. But then, you’ll wonder if there’s any possible way. Will familial loyalties get in the way? Or maybe even Candy’s need for revenge, particularly in dealing with her own variety of mean girls.

Candy and Jonah have both had to endure great traumas in their lives, and they’ll have a moment when they think they can make things better for each other. I’m just hoping that ultimately happens, but I’m dreading the wait and the possibility that they might not.

Giveaway (INTL)

balloons free

•$50 Amazon gift card and an ecopy of Like Candy

Enter Rafflecopter HERE!!!

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About the Author ~ Debra Doxer

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Debra Doxer was born in Boston, and other than a few lost years in the California sunshine, she has always resided in the Boston area. She writes fiction, technical software documents, illegible scribbles on sticky notes, and texts that get mangled by AutoCorrect. She writes for a living, and she writes for fun. When her daughter asks when she’ll run out of words, her response always is, “When I run out of time.”

Connect with Debra. She loves hearing from readers.

Blog * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter

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Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ The Law of Moses

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Title: The Law of Moses

Author: Amy Harmon

Publication Date: Nov. 27, 2014

Genre: Contemporary New Adult Paranormal Romance

If I tell you right up front, right in the beginning that I lost him, it will be easier for you to bear. You will know it’s coming, and it will hurt. But you’ll be able to prepare.

Someone found him in a laundry basket at the Quick Wash, wrapped in a towel, a few hours old and close to death. They called him Baby Moses when they shared his story on the ten o’clock news – the little baby left in a basket at a dingy Laundromat, born to a crack addict and expected to have all sorts of problems. I imagined the crack baby, Moses, having a giant crack that ran down his body, like he’d been broken at birth. I knew that wasn’t what the term meant, but the image stuck in my mind. Maybe the fact that he was broken drew me to him from the start.

It all happened before I was born, and by the time I met Moses and my mom told me all about him, the story was old news and nobody wanted anything to do with him. People love babies, even sick babies. Even crack babies. But babies grow up to be kids, and kids grow up to be teenagers. Nobody wants a messed up teenager.

And Moses was messed up. Moses was a law unto himself. But he was also strange and exotic and beautiful. To be with him would change my life in ways I could never have imagined. Maybe I should have stayed away. Maybe I should have listened. My mother warned me. Even Moses warned me. But I didn’t stay away.

And so begins a story of pain and promise, of heartache and healing, of life and death. A story of before and after, of new beginnings and never-endings. But most of all…a love story.

Goodreads * Amazon

My *****5 Star***** Review

Book. Hangover.

This story. Just wow. There are so many things I love about this book that I don’t know where to start.

Beautiful writing, right from the beginning. This story is so full of thought provoking insight. I copied several passages down just so I could chew on them later. So many profound truths.

But this book is so much more than just beautiful writing. This book will make you FEEL! It was breathtakingly beautiful. Love and loss. Fear and hope. Dread and excitement. Prejudices that will leave you angry.

This story is also a mystery – a paranormal/supernatural mystery. Some nasty crimes are committed. The plot will twist in unexpected ways.

Moses. Moses. Moses. What can I say about Moses. He’s a heartbreaker. He has a curse…or a gift? His life has been beyond hard. He’s created his own law to overcome it – to not get hurt again. He’s been the victim of extreme prejudice and in return he’s become prejudiced. Georgia comes along and makes it hard for him to keep his own laws. He’ll do anything to protect her, though, including from himself.

Here’s the thing. After reading the little snippet you can find with the synopsis, I was quite frankly dreading reading this book. That would have been a error of epic proportions. This was my first Amy Harmon book, but it definitely won’t be my last!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ A Date With the Devil

A Date of the Devil

A Date of the Devil

Title: A Date With the Devil

Author: Kira Adams

Publication Date: Contemporary Romance

Genre: May 31, 2015

The Monster.

In one moment, my entire life was ripped away from me. I ignored the warning signs until it was too late. Until I became the victim.

He took my life away from me; my freedom, my courage. I’ve lived my life in debilitating fear since that fateful day.

The Savior.

He was there the day it all went down, and he’s been by my side ever since. He’s been the only thing that’s kept me going.

He’s my best friend, but he wants more. I’m terrified to lose him. I’m terrified he’ll leave.

One tried to kill me.

One brought me back to life.

I’ll never be the same person again–that girl died when the match was dropped. Too much has already been stolen from me.

It’s time to take back what’s mine.

Goodreads * Amazon

My ***3.5*** Star Review

Let me start with my own misconception here. Somehow I thought the “Monster” and the “Savior” were going to be the same guy. I was wrong. I’m not even sure what gave me the idea to think this, except maybe the cliché of it. I’ve been reading lots of stories lately where this would have fit. Anyways. There’s a really bad guy and the good guy.

Let me start with the bad dude. He’s a really, REALLY bad dude. I’m talking crazy. The book starts out giving you a glimpse into extreme domestic violence. It’s ugly. Not for the faint of heart. However, it’s short lived.

Enter good guy, Tyson. Tyson has been there for Bryce since the night of the brutal attack. He becomes the best friend while Bryce recovers. Her attack was so devastatingly brutal, though, that she doesn’t even want to step outside.

This story picks up about a year after the ill-fated night of the attack. You’ll get glimpses of both the past and the present. Some tough issues are dealt with in this story, but ultimately I would call this a love story. It’s a short and quick read that kept me constantly flipping the pages.

So, what did I not like? I’ll warn you that this will be spoilerish, but I’m not sharing how it all wraps up. Up to this point, I’ve really just clarified the synopsis and expounded just a little. Okay. So my yuck with this story is Tyson. In the very beginning I LOVED him. I thought the story was heading to a wonderful best friends to lovers tale. But, not very long after meeting Tyson he decides to lean in for a kiss that is rejected. He pretty much decides to have a hissy fit and avoid her. It’s the whole I can’t be your friend when I’m in love with you. This works in a lot of stories – stories where you’ve been along for the ride a while and you get the passion. Unfortunately you aren’t getting much of the friendship to understand his feelings. Then he rushes to fill her spot, which really had me questioning how much he actually cared for her at all.

Ultimately, I think some will really enjoy the story and others will be like me and find fault in Tyson. I wasn’t in love with this one, but I’d definitely try another Kira Adams story as I enjoyed her writing style and she kept me interested.

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Eleanor & Park

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Title: Eleanor & Park

Author: Rainbow Rowell

Publication Date: Feb. 26, 2013

Genre: Mature YA Romance/Coming of Age

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Goodreads * Amazon

My *****5 Star***** Review

I LOVED this book. Loved it. It was everything real and deep and intense that exists when two teens fall in love. Then add in the fact that they totally didn’t even want to fall just made it all the better. Then throw in that they’re two misfits, not the typical heroes and heroines of your modern day romances. What can I say? It was just awesome!

My only complaint would be that I wanted MORE. LOTS MORE! It was just so beautiful and so ugly all wrapped into one.

Mostly it was the extremely slow paced falling for each other that sucked me in. The intensity in just a single touch that pulled me in – a touch as simple as one hand to another. The FEELS were just simply wonderful! I don’t know what took me sooo long to finally read a Rainbow Rowell book, but I’m so incredibly glad that I finally did!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Point of Retreat by Colleen Hoover

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Title: Point of Retreat

Series: Slammed #2

Author: Colleen Hoover

Publication Date: February 25, 2012

Genre: Contemporary NA Romance

Hardships and heartache brought them together… now it will tear them apart.

Layken and Will have proved their love can get them through anything; until someone from Will’s past re-emerges, leaving Layken questioning the very foundation on which their relationship was built. Will is forced to face the ultimate challenge…how to prove his love for a girl who refuses to stop ‘carving pumpkins.’

Goodreads * Amazon

My ****4.5**** Star Review

Oh, my gosh. I thought I was going to have to kill Will!!!! Seeing how he’s totally rockin’ the book boyfriend spot right now, that ain’t cool! I mean I was seriously freaking out over half of this book. FREAKING OUT!!!! Oh, and as soon as I got some happy – DREAD!

Yes! I felt severely anxious. You know. Heart pounding. I had to remind myself to breathe. I just knew something was going to happen and that I wasn’t going to like it. I KNEW!! Oh, but I didn’t because what I thought was going to happen is so not what happened. Does that mean I shouldn’t have been scared – NO! If I didn’t know CoHo likes her HEAs then I really would have LOST it. Seriously!

But, I’m never sorry I spend time in her books. I’m talking kick my heels on my bed, squealing in delight happy! You’ll pick up some great advice along the way, too. Like, don’t waste too much time ‘carving pumpkins.’

I’m butterflying positive this book rocks! Now, onto This Girl!!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ Slammed by Coleen Hoover

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Title: Slammed

Series: Slammed #1

Author: Colleen Hoover

Publication Date: January 5, 2012

Genre: Contemporary YA/NA Romance

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.

Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.

Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.

Goodreads * Amazon

So, I’ve read every single book out there that Colleen Hoover has written, except her first Slammed series. BUT, I’m rectifying that now with my very own personally autographed series!

My ****4.5**** Star Review

It’s kind of weird reading her first book last. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well, I did expect the typical CoHo, but I know first books can sometimes be a little off while authors are finding their groove. And, after reading the first little bit, I thought I was in for that, but then, oh, she grabbed me. She reached right out of the pages, grabbed me by my shirt collar, and yanked me right inside!

I’m talking one plot twist after another. Joy. Pain. Will. Did I mention Will? He SLAMMED me! He owned me with his first poetic words. I mean, all of a sudden I am LOVING POETRY! Seriously! I’m making the crap up in my head, staring at the back of my eyelids when I should be in bed! She’s inspiring! You can’t read these words without the urge to go write.

As is typical with all of Colleen’s books, you’ll fall for all of the characters. She always does such an amazing job at developing all of her minor characters.
You’ll love Lake. She struggles, but you’ll completely understand. Your heart will break for her. And Will. Did I mention Will? Yeah, well, he’s
AMAZING!

There really isn’t much more that needs to be said. As I’ve mentioned previously, CoHo doesn’t need good reviews. Her name speaks for itself!

P.S. I’m already reading Point of Retreat, so expect a review soon. I mean I did devour Slammed in just one evening!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ A Stone in the Sea

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Title: A Stone in the Sea

Series: Bleeding Stars #1

Author: A.L. Jackson

Publication Date:

Genre: Contemporary New Adult Romance

He wanted nothing at all…

Until he found she had everything to give…

Sunder lead singer and guitarist Sebastian Stone has everything—fans, fame, and fortune. He also has a heart full of bitterness and a reputation for a short-fused temper. But an outward reputation rarely reveals the true man inside. Facing assault charges after trying to protect his younger brother, Sebastian is sent to Savannah, Georgia to lie low until the dust settles in L.A.

Shea Bentley is beautiful, kind, and hiding from the very lifestyle Sebastian has always embraced.

When the mysterious, tattooed stranger begins hanging out at the bar where she works, Shea is quick to recognize he is nothing but trouble, but she’s helpless to the way her body lights up every time his intense gray eyes tangle with hers.

They both soon find themselves drowning in a sea of desire and passion that won’t let them up for air.

Sebastian knows firsthand secrets never die, and he’s not the only one who’s hiding them.

Loving someone always comes with a price. But will it be Shea’s past that costs them everything?

Goodreads * Amazon

My ****4.5 Star**** Review

This is one of those books where the very first chapter leaves you wanting more.

Baz is full of mystery. You will be left with more questions than answers in the beginning. It will all start unraveling, though, and the full truth will be exposed. Shea has her secrets, too, and when all is revealed, things get nasty!

I loved seeing the chemistry build between Baz & Shea. You can feel the sexual tension between them. Baz is an MC rider & a bad boy rocker. Not many could resist!

But, there’s more to this story than the romance. There are evil people out to make things bad for them. Baz and Shea both have someone out to get them. The question is will it tear them apart?

I can tell you that you’ll still be left with questions at the end and one heck of a cliffhanger! Those of you that like a nice tidy finish will probably want to hold off for now. But those of you that don’t mind the wait, go pick this one up. This book will definitely bring the FEELS!!

She’d asked me what I wanted from her. The problem was I had no clue. All I knew was it was more. That I wanted more of her dark and her light and her heavy and her soft. I wanted more of her sweet breaths and more of her pounding heart.

Happy Reading,

Alison

Review ~ The Distance Between Lost and Found

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Title: The Distance Between Lost and Found

Author: Kathryn Holmes

Publication Date: Feb. 17, 2015

Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction

Ever since the night of the incident with Luke Willis, the preacher’s son, sophomore Hallelujah Calhoun has been silent. When the rumors swirled around school, she was silent. When her parents grounded her, she was silent. When her friends abandoned her … silent.

Now, six months later, on a youth group retreat in the Smoky Mountains, Hallie still can’t find a voice to answer the taunting. Shame and embarrassment haunt her, while Luke keeps coming up with new ways to humiliate her. Not even meeting Rachel, an outgoing newcomer who isn’t aware of her past, can pull Hallie out of her shell. Being on the defensive for so long has left her raw, and she doesn’t know who to trust.

On a group hike, the incessant bullying pushes Hallie to her limit. When Hallie, Rachel, and Hallie’s former friend Jonah get separated from the rest of the group, the situation quickly turns dire. Stranded in the wilderness, the three have no choice but to band together.

With past betrayals and harrowing obstacles in their way, Hallie fears they’ll never reach safety. Could speaking up about the night that changed everything close the distance between being lost and found? Or has she traveled too far to come back?

Goodreads * Amazon

My ****4.5 Star**** Review

This is one of those books that sucks you in with the first line. There’s a good bit of mystery as to Hallie’s story with Luke, the preacher’s son. You feel sorry for her, but then you’ll start questioning everything she does, everything that’s happened. But, the answers slowly start leaking out. Then when Hallie finds herself lost with Jonah and Rachel, everything will eventually come out.

While the kids are lost, there are some pretty scary moments. The drama is intense, but I would still have to say that this story is character driven. The main story always revolves around Hallie coming to terms with her past and a possible reconciliation with her former friend Jonah whose interests may be a bit stronger. Hallie’s new friend Rachel plays a key role in helping Hallie recognize her own faults and role in her current circumstances.

There are lots of discussions throughout the story about God and his existence and role in their lives. The next sentence may be spoilerish to some, but some parents may be concerned about the direction the story takes concerning God, so I’ll share. Ultimately, the author takes no definitive stand one way or another, so readers can draw their own conclusions. You could make plenty of arguments for or against His existence and role in their lives, and quite frankly I think this book can make for some awesome discussions between teens and their parents – not just concerning God, either. There are lots of issues and blurred lines in this story that can make for some great teaching and mentoring points. I highly recommend this book for teens and parents looking for books that inspire great discussions and debates.

Happy Reading,

Alison